“There is no better feeling than the movement of Life inside of you” – Anonymous
Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM has evolved over thousands of years, through various eras and developments whilst retaining its original essence of science-backed therapies.
Today, it has set itself as a distinctive benchmark as an effective medicinal as well as purification/healing process for the mind, body and soul of a person. The mind-body practises of traditional herbal medicines such as green tea and various techniques such as acupuncture, reiki and tai chi are now being widely popularised and resorted to in the present day due to the awareness of its benefits. They are implemented to cleanse and replenish the physiological, psychological and spiritual impurities present in the person.
Traditional Chinese Approach to Childbirth
Scientifically proven, the health of the parents at the time of conception translates directly into the quality of the child’s constitution. Traditionally, the 9 month period of pregnancy was a time for the parents to focus on nurturing the developing baby. The mother is physically and spiritually the vessel into which the unborn child is placed, and so her state of health in every way is of utmost importance.
Meaning and overview of Qigong
“Qi” (pronounced chee), is the vital energy that flows through all things in the Universe. “Gong” (pronounced gung, as in lung) means cultivating self-discipline and achievement. Together, Qigong means the skill of cultivating vital energy or the ability to work with the body’s inherent electromagnetic energy.
Qigong is thus a mind-body practice that improves one’s mental and physical health by integrating postures, movement, breathing techniques and focused intention. It has 5 major categories: 1) Medical Qigong 2) Vitality Qigong 3) Scholarly Qigong 4) Martial Qigong 5) Spiritual Qigong
Procedure of this therapy
Qigong Healing Science involves five steps:
2. Cleansing via breathing
3. Building Qi
4. Circulating Qi
5. Dispersing Qi
Qigong Healing Science therapy consists of:
1. Medical consultation and evaluation
2. Specific Meditations
3. Specific Breathing Exercises
4. Specific Movements
5. Specifically done Tai Chi technique (sounds & oriental melody are used for each step)
6. Specific Oriental Diet
7. Use of other Chinese techniques like Meridian therapy and Magnetotherapy in certain cases
Medical Qigong for and during Pregnancy
Medical Qigong is a powerful healing and energy therapy which involves the art and science of using breathing techniques, gentle movement and meditation to cleanse, strengthen and circulate the life energy (qi).
The results vary from woman to woman, as with any treatment, but the more effort put into the discipline, the more will be its effectiveness and benefits. Daily practice of qigong, especially during the time of conception or child-planning, right till the delivery of the child, with a Qigong practitioner will help deliver long term, lasting results. This is so that the Qi of the mother is cleansed and purified before the embryo is formed.
A woman’s body and mind are undergoing tremendous changes during the time of pregnancy. Once a child is born, a woman’s body is very vulnerable and delicate. Her body is weakened and depleted of her natural nutrients and health, but if the right care is taken, it can also be an opportunity for her to be re-strengthened. Hence, great emphasis must be placed on taking very good care of the new mother.
The month-long period after birth is called “zuo yue zi” (literally, “sit this month”). During this time, the new mother should relax and do as little as possible. As the mother is the primary source of nourishment for the child, she should be nurtured so that she can provide the very best care for the child.
What is a Medical Qigong session like?
An initial consultation and first treatment can last between one and a half to two hours, depending on the patient’s medical history and comfort discussing their health concerns. Follow-up sessions are one hour in length and most general treatment plans begin with weekly visits. As the patient progresses in his or her treatment, the frequency of visits changes accordingly.
After discussing health concerns, the patient lies down on a massage table, fully clothed, and is instructed on how to “Qigong breathe.” This is a deep belly-breathing, through the nose, that is performed throughout the duration of their treatment.
The practitioner will observe and scan the body – moving their hands across both the patient’s physical and energetic body, feeling for temperature differences and the quality of any sensations that may be present. Once this is complete, the practitioner begins energizing the meridian systems or energy pathways of the body by facilitating free energy flow. This process moves along the same pathways, or meridians, as in acupuncture treatments, however involve no needles. Additional mood influencers to help the patients get in touch with their spiritual aura can be used too, such as aromatic candles, crystal therapies and feng-shui-compliant plants.
Benefits of Qigong on pregnant mothers as well as their foetus
Practicing Medical Qigong during pregnancy provides the much-needed relaxation and energy that the expecting mothers need to cope with the new demands on her body and emotions. Excessive stress, whether physical or emotional, can cause the body to produce hormones that may increase the likelihood of difficulties during pregnancy and delivery. Stress and anxiety can also have a negative impact on the foetus and may have long-term effects on the child. The technique is easy to practice during pregnancy.
Medical Qigong can help with many of the common issues that women face during pregnancy, like indigestion, constipation, hypertension, insomnia, back pain, and nausea. This is due to the connection of each biological body organ corresponding to its energetic reflexes, as this is where each respective energy and attribute of health is situated.
Why it is extremely important and crucial to be at absolute perfect mental and physical bliss for mothers for themselves as well as their babies
Many women experience that pregnancy brings a spiritual awakening as their intuition and awareness are heightened. A meditating mother while deepening her connection to inner being through regular Qigong practice may enjoy greater sensitivity to the new life growing within her. Enveloped in calmness, love and serenity, the baby is tenderly nourished by the mother’s meditative state. Many mothers notice that their new babies are remarkably calm, happy and healthy. Pregnancy is the perfect time to learn Qigong; after all, you are healing for the health of two.
Spreading the awareness of this beautiful ancient Chinese healing technique
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been gaining rapid momentum over the years, owing to its effectiveness in an organic way which seldom to none has chances of side effects. It is based on a pure science and art as well as a discipline to strengthen the human mind, body and soul in its most natural form. This is one of the main reasons why it is preferred over Western Medicine.
While practices such as Reiki and Tai Chi have gained much prominence through the years, Qigong has yet to be discovered widely by the rest of the world. Practiced properly, it has the potential to cure several illnesses, such as cancer, that its Western counterparts are yet unable to. This is all due to the basic premise of this simple but powerful technique: revitalisation and recirculation of a person’s inherent Qi – the energy of Life.
– Khevna Joshi, Holistic Sciences Consultant and Tarot Card Reading Expert